The Owatonna Christmas Bird count began in 1972. This year's count is Saturday, December 15. Here's a look at some of the interesting numbers and facts from past counts that have been compiled by Darryl Hill who's been a part of every single past bird count.

The most number of birds seen on one county day took place in 1998 when a total of 8,430 were spotted. The least number was 2,324 in 1972. We need to keep in mind that 1972 was the first year and only a dozen or so counters were out and about.

The most species of birds seen on one county day is 51 and that came n 2012. The fewest was 27 in 1979.

Now as far as the weather, the coldest bird count day was in 1983 with a balmy 22 below zero. The warmest was in 2002 when the mercury hit 50 degrees. 1978 is a noteworthy year as there was 24 inches of snow on the ground for that county. There have been 9 different count years where there was no snow on the ground.

Those who would like to take part in this years count may call Darryl Hill at 451-5073.